Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Patience Is A Virtue

If I was appraising my parenting, and the subject of it, I would sure make a few observations, and mark some areas down for improvement.

Perhaps I should delve into my old work self, dig out the appraisal stuff I used to use, and sit down with myself for an hour or two.

‘This is your time,” I used to say to my numbers valued staff.

However I don’t need to do that to know there are several areas we both need to work on.

Patience would probably come out top of my recommendations.

Both in myself and my offspring.

Mine has improved, and is definitely at its best when parenting.

It is still absent on tasks that I find boring, and require persistence, I usually find something else to do, and someone else to finish what I’ve started.

And I’m not sure that those that know me would say I was very tolerant.

But when coaxing child into using the toilet, dressing and generally improving his dexterity, I’ve been pretty good.

I’d score that high on my self-appraisal chart.

However, and I think I partly know why, my son’s patience is not the Mae West.

This is really highlighted at home, as when in the care of others he seems to show it in abundance.

Here he shouts for everything, heads for dessert half way through dinner and can’t wait a minute for me to do anything he has asked of me.

Because it is just me and him, he generally has my attention for the majority of the time, thus he gets a pretty good response time from his daddy.

Another good score on my form.

Well his form anyway, as a by product of this action is he gets used to it, and doesn’t like having to wait for a response, a drink, a pencil, a biscuit or whatever else he’s requested.

As he grows he is able to do more for himself, and I genuinely believe that nursery has aided with this, as he has to do it there, just like everyone else.

Which leads to another good point.

Peers are great way of learning that the world doesn’t revolve around you, as much as this woman thinks it should.

Without the planned brothers and sisters, I’m becoming increasingly aware that I have a different role to play, if I want to mimic some of the benefits of having siblings.

Not giving him first refusal on everything, or allowing him to always get his preferred option every time.

Sometimes I don’t even realise I am doing it.

I mean if he wants the red cup, and I haven’t already poured his drink, he gets the red cup.

Having other kids around is good, because then he doesn’t necessarily get first dibs on everything.

I do encourage having others here as much as possible, and thankfully it isn’t a rare for us, or Max, to have guests.

Last night he had a little friend round for tea.

His little friend is an absolute belter, very well behaved, into all sorts, and listens to instructions.

He is a slow eater though, and that drove my mini-colossus a little crazy, but it was an opportunity to dish out a portion of patience training.

Max reluctantly understood that he must wait for his friend to finish his dinner before pudding could be chosen.

Though he had got it on the table the very instant his chum’s last mouthful was in his cake hole.


A bit anyway. Share/Save/Bookmark


The Grocer said...

"Without the planned brothers and sisters" I immediately wondered if you had considered adoption to provide a "sibling".
Please ignore this comment if you find it insensitive or over personal and accept my apologies, no offence meant.

Mama Nabi said...

(Not to stick my nose into someone else's comment but adoption is not something to consider to "provide" a sibling. I certainly wouldn't like to have been adopted to simply serve a purpose in a family.)

Patience is also nearly impossible for kids who are 3 years old. (Right? I think Max is same age as LN.) I do think it might be an easier learn if there were siblings. There is a patience song I sing to her - a song I learned in Sunday school - I'm not religious so I switch out God and say Mommy, that Mommy waits for her all the time... so this one time, try waiting for Mommy.

I do try to rush her all the time, being late to everything... but recently have been trying to recognize that everything is so fresh in her mind, something new and marvelous - and perhaps she should be allowed time to enjoy that first moment for a lot of things. It is hard, though.

With LN, I try to teach her that the more she rushes thing, the longer it takes. For example, if she demands things to be given to her right away, I list the things that have to be done first. If she doesn't wait patiently, I add one more thing that needs to be done... and so on. It's quite cruel at first but after a bit, she caught on. :-)

Single Parent Dad said...

Grocer - I agree with Mama Nabi below, it would be for the wrong reasons. I applaud anyone who does adopt children, but I don't think that would be right for me, or us.

Mama Nabi - He'll be 4 just before Xmas. I perhaps need to think about it a bit deeper. I just try to remain calm when time is short. Teaching by example if you like.

The Grocer said...

Certainly have no issue with comments on my comment. I guess I was "thinking" out loud.
I wasn't suggesting that SPD went out and did it though, just questioning whether he had actually thought about it (to split hairs).
Whilst I can understand your final comment I would suggest that many adoptive parents adopt children to "serve a purpose in a family" i.e that of providing them with children. Obviously there will be those with higher motives but for some completing a gap in their family will be the primary motive for adoptiion

KristinRanae said...

Ahhh Patience...something that I am NOT good at:) I'm trying to get better though b/c I have a pair of little eyes watching my every move. Isn't it amazing how they do and say EVERYTHING that you do?

harassedmomsramblings said...

I was out of the country when patience was handed out!

I have had to adjust my routine to ensure that there is enough time for everything and it has made a huge difference!

There are still bad days when all 3 of us cross over to the dark side though!

Penelope said...

That last part made me smile. My Lil P's are teens now and I still have to remind them to wait until *everyone* has finished eating before diving into the freezer for icecream!
I'm really not a patient person but I suppose becoming a parent did help me...a bit :o)

Single Parent Dad said...

Kristin - It sure is.

Harassedmom - The path to the dark side is a short one!

Penelope - Glad to read I'm not on my own then.

Elle Charlie said...

Patience takes a lifetime to learn, doesn't it? Mine gets better everyday. It's sweet how thoughtfully you consider your son's development.

Snickollet said...

Ah, shamefully my patience is at its worst with my children. Thanks for being a good role model for me! I can learn much from you.

Crash Course Widow said...

Yup--I hear you loud and clear with this one, Ian. What you wrote sounds like the same thing that happens in our household...I'm home with Anna basically all the time, no siblings, etc., etc. Except I think I might be a little less patient all the time...or at least in bad moments/days. (For as much as anyone can tell from a blog, at least. ;o))

It's been good for her that we live on top of my sister and her kids. She sometimes sorta gets siblings to fight with, and it certainly gives the pointed reminder that she does NOT always get what she wants (the red cup vs. the pink cup, e.g.). I've found in the last year or so, as she's learned more independence and gained more dexterity for herself, that the patience for Mommy to jump immediately has gotten worse. And now I seem to say, "Anna, BE PATIENT" a lot more than I used to. Then again, I'm almost always doing something (poking around on my computer more like than anything else) when she asks for Mommy's assistance, and I'm rather happy doing what I'm doing, so it's become a regular thing that I tell her she has to wait a minute or two until Mommy is done with this.

And yeah, of COURSE she's far more patient when she's at Grandma's, at Aunt Cindi's, at preschool, etc. And really, she's not that impatient with me (and especially not compared to most kids). But oh yes, we also know all too well that Mommy gets the worst side of Anna and everyone else gets Angel Anna. Then again, I get the absolute best of Anna too--the endless hugs and kisses and "I love you's"--which she doesn't give everyone it balances out. ;o)

Good luck to you and Max! May the patience force be with you both!

Single Parent Dad said...

Elle - Thanks for the comment, but not the lifetime reminder.

Snick - You're in bother if you think I can teach you anything!

CCW - Thanks for sharing Candice. I always enjoy reading your comments. And find it interesting how much our lives seem to be following a similar path.

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